I know my children are FAR from perfect and I have no problem whatsoever admitting that. As Christian parents, we are each called to “train up a child in the way he should go” Proverbs 22:6. I work daily toward them being respectable adults when they are no longer living under my roof. As a parent, I expect them to use manners and be respectful of others and their property. If they do not use their manners, then I will say “excuse me?” and that is typically all it takes for them to correct themselves. Good manners go far beyond please, thank you, yes/no sir/ma’am. It is simple respect!
A few pet peeves I have where manners and respect are concerned:
1. Showing up at someone’s house unannounced – this is one of those things people do all the time, which just blows me away. I just can’t imagine rolling up to someone’s door and they not know that I’m coming. You never know what they have going on that you’ve just interrupted.
2. Kids inviting themselves over. This is a huge one for me! Don’t get me wrong, I love having company over; just when I invite them. I know “kids will be kids”, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. When those kids become an adult, they aren’t going to get away with things just because “adults will be adults”.
· Why do parents not explain to their children that is rude behavior? My children have had it drilled into their heads that we are NOT EVER supposed to invite ourselves over to someone’s house (friends or family). It’s just rude in my opinion. You are putting someone in the awkward position to not comfortably be able to say no. This is a case of “do unto others as you’d want done to you”.
· I wonder do their parents just want to get rid of their child so badly that they dismiss the rudeness or are they just oblivious? It makes me sad.
3. Kids interrupting adults when they are speaking and/or being just blatantly disrespectful. I don’t think kids should be afraid of superiors, but they should have respect for them. If an adult asks a child to stop doing something, they should stop regardless of whether it’s their parent or another adult.
4. Kids saying rude or inappropriate things and parents not correcting their children. Name calling is a big no-no at our house. Words I hear kids using regularly are like cuss words in our house. (ex: dumb, stupid, idiot, jerk, I hate….) Why would this be okay to anyone? No one, adult or child, wants to be called names so why not correct it? I’m a big proponent of using vinegar to break habits involving my children’s mouth and I’ve had pretty good success with it.
Our children are sponges. They observe our behavior and they mimic it in theirs. I have seen things in my children that I don’t find appealing and then realized they picked that up from me. I quickly correct that behavior and sit them down and explain that yes, mommy may have been acting like that, but it’s not acceptable and we won’t be acting like that anymore. Admitting, as a parent, that we did wrong is a great way to teach our children. It may not be easy but it is important. We’re not perfect and they need to know that we make mistakes too. We just have to instill in them that you can admit your wrongs (sin) and learn from it to make better choices.
I want to know that when my children leave home one day that they are going to enter the world prepared to be respectful adults. I want them to have the ability to interact with other adults in a way that is respectful. Employers aren’t looking for rude people to hire. Men/women aren’t looking for rude people to bring home to meet their parents and eventually marry. Children don’t want rude parents to embarrass them when they are out in public. I pray that one day my children will look back on my “annoying” rules and be grateful that they are the well mannered adults they were raised to be because I “trained up my child in the way he should go” Proverbs 22:6.